Zinex Mining and the building designers wanted Liquid Stone Studios to do something dramatic with regard to the reception area desks and the bathroom vanity tops in the client bathroom.

The contractors decided to be inspired by nature, instead of trying to copy it. They constructed reverse-cast molds from extruded polystyrene foam and used a variety of pouring techniques, such as dry-packing sections; wet pouring to produce cold lines; seeding mold sections with recycled glass, sand, and pebbles; and mechanically tooling areas after demolding. The contractors interspersed gray concrete bands with integral colors and used dyes from Colormaker floors.

Liquid Stone wet-cast the reception desk and bathroom vanity tops on reverse stratified molds to produce a split-slate “strata” effect. They inlaid recycled tempered glass in the reception desk and polished it to give the surface an illusion of depth. The entire project, from design to installation, took approximately 280 hours to complete.

Designer's Perspective

This project by Liquid Stone Studios, Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada, involved the reception area of a new industrial building in Nanaimo, British Columbia. The owner wanted something a little bit different for the front reception desk that would complement his diamond drill business. The project designers asked Liquid Stone Studios to come up with "something dramatic, if possible, with a strata effect happening, and with nice organic waves."

The project included three concrete reception desk tops, two tapered vertical concrete panels, a client washroom with a wave top and strata effect, and fir cabinetry.

Several prototypes of the vertical panels were made over several weeks to experiment with textures and show the client. The goal was to get inspiration from nature, but not to copy it.

Reverse cast molds were constructed from styrofoam. Several techniques were combined when pouring the concrete, including dry-packing sections, wet pouring in stages to produce cold lines, seeding certain mold sections with recycled glass, loose sand, and pebbles, and mechanically tooling areas after de-molding.

Davis Colors integral colors and Colormaker Floors dyes were used, interspersed with natural gray concrete bands.

The reception desk and bathroom vanity countertops were wet cast on reverse stratified molds to give the them the strata effect of split slate. Recycled tempered glass was inlaid in the reception desktop and polished smooth to give it a sense of depth. A similar horizontal band of inlaid glass was included in the vertical panels below the reception desk to tie the two pieces together.

Penetrating sealers and densifiers from Cheng Design and Innovative Concrete Technologies were used to protect and beautify the surfaces.

Approximately 280 hours were invested in the project by a crew of three.

The general contractor for the building was Art Crape of Hazelwood Construction, Nanaimo, British Columbia.